There has been no dominant force in the game of golf over the past three plus years. The past 13 major championships have gone to 13 different human beings. There’s almost no point in trying to project who’s going to win when and where. It’s too darn hard. Anyone in the field can win any week.
In such an era of no dominance, is it possible to rank and measure the major championships against one another? Can you call one’s victory more meaningful and powerful than another?
The Mouth That Roars likes to live bold. Over a series of posts I’ll try to rank the last 13 winners and their conquests to try and gain some perspective on the free-for-all we’ve been seeing.
For my money, here’s a look at the13th, 12th and 11th best champions over the past three years…
13th – Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship
Something just didn’t feel right about the 2011 PGA Championship. The event resembled a flood because it seemed everybody and everything was getting wet. The water hazards and odd distances on holes really pushed players into odd shots and mistakes. Having watched it over the weekend, I didn’t feel like great shots were always being rewarded as such. That’s never good.
Anytime you start to wonder if great shots are being treated as such, you’re fair to wonder if the results aren’t a bit…”off” for lack of a better word. We make look back on the 2011 PGA Championship as when a special career took flight for Bradley. Or, we may never see him contend again. It was just odd to see Bradley and Jason Dufner dueling on Sunday. Odd course setups sometimes generate odd results. It stacks up as the least dominating performance of the last 13 championships in my book.
12th Stewart Cink – British Open 2009
Listen, Stewart Cink needs to apologize to nobody for winning this major championship and ruining what would have been an incredible story had Tom Watson closed the deal. Watson missed a short putt on 18 to win and Cink took him down in the extra holes. Watson, a storied figure in the game, was trying to become the oldest major champion by 15 years. Everybody wanted to see that story happen. It didn’t, and some people (including a writer on this site) hold that against him.
I don’t. These guys play their whole lives trying to win just one of these events. If a guy misses a putt on 18 he should have made – you don’t feel sorry. You don’t step aside to let a great story happen. Cink fought the fight. He took the second chance that Watson gave him and won. Nothing but congrats to Cink. I’d rank it higher…but Watson should have made that putt on 18. I don’t hold it against Cink, but I acknowledge it…
11th Angel Cabrera 2009 Masters
Honestly, when I try to think back to the 2009 Masters I think more about Chad Campbell losing it on the first playoff hole than Cabrera winning it. It’s just not a memorable event for me, which is a bit strange because I love when major championships go in to extra holes. Scoring was at about the same level as it is most years and there were a number of guys chasing the trio that entered the playoff: Cabrera, Campbell and Kenny Perry, and still I can’t conjure up much emotion for this one.
It also didn’t really hold any real significance other than a victory. This gave Cabrera two major titles but it didn’t reposition his legacy. It wasn’t like this was the introduction of a new great player. Had Perry or Campbell won it would have been about reliable forces on tour finally getting their big win. Maybe this should be higher, but I feel you should conjure up an emotion or two when you think about past championships – and I just can’t for this one.